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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

ON  THE  MOTION OF  PENDULUMS.
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observe the time, the observation merely of the arc would be very valuable as a test of theory. In that case an approximate value of the time of oscillation in air would be required.
In the system proposed, Nos. 1 and 3 are the principal pendulums, Nos. 2 and 4 are introduced for the sake of making certain small corrections to the results of Nos. 1 and 3. No. 2 is meant for the elimination from No. 1 of the effect of the wire, and No. 4 for the elimination from No. 3 of the effect of the resistance experienced by a small portion of the rod near its end. The times of vibration of the four pendulums ought to be nearly the same, although for that purpose slightly different lengths of wire would be required in Nos. 1, 2, and 4.
It follows from theory that for a given pendulum the factor tt is a function of the time of vibration. This is a result which seems to have been hardly so much as suspected by those who were engaged in pendulum experiments, or at most to have been mentioned as a mere possibility*, and therefore it might be thought advisable to verify it by direct experiment. For my own part I regard it as so intimately connected with the fundamental principles of the theory, that if the theory be confirmed in other respects I think this result may be accepted on the strength of theory alone. The direct comparison with experiment would be inconvenient, because it would require a clock which kept excellent time, and yet admitted of being adjusted so as to make widely different numbers of vibrations in a day. The result could, however, be confirmed indirectly by observing the arc of vibration, an observation which is as easy with one time of vibration as with another.
82. Second object. According to theory, the index of friction may be deduced from experiments either on the arc or on the time of vibration. It must be left to observation to decide which give the more consistent results. Should the results obtained from the arc appear as trustworthy as those obtained from the time, it would apparently be much the easiest way of determining // for an elastic fluid to observe the arc, because no particular accuracy would then be required in the observation of time. As to the
* It should be observed however that in a subsequent memoir (Astrononiische Nachricliten, No. 223, p. 106) Bessel deduced from other experiments that the value of k was larger for the long than for the short pendulum.
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